Not all homeowners are alike: a segmentation model based on a quantitative analysis of Dutch adopters of residential photovoltaics

Wendy Broers*, Veronique Vasseur, Rene Kemp, Nurhan Abujidi, Zeger Vroon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The implementation of residential photovoltaics must increase more rapidly to combat climate change and its impacts. This challenge is addressed in this study by introducing a segmentation model in order to develop a theoretical and empirical foundation for understanding the heterogeneity of potential adopters. Data were collected by means of a survey among Dutch adopters (n = 1395) and the data is analysed with statistical descriptive analyses and nonparametric tests. The five segmentation groups are divided by the homeowners' educational background or profession (technical, financial-economic or other) and level of environmental concern. The results demonstrate that the groups are substantial in size and that there are significant differences between these groups on personal characteristics such as homeowners' level of environmental concern and the level of influence of their social network on their decision to adopt. In addition, significant differences are found between the groups on the perceived characteristics of the residential photovoltaics such as perceived complexity and aesthetics, and the amount of previous practice with other energy measures in their home. Accordingly, these insights can be used by policymakers and the public and private sectors to promote residential photovoltaics more effectively by targeting the segmentation groups more adequately. The different groups will be drawn to different aspects and therefore, a broader pallet of benefits must be presented; a mix of different communication channels must be used; objective and non-technical assistance in the decision-making must be offered; and different kind of products must be provided.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
Number of pages26
JournalEnergy Efficiency
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2021


  • Residential photovoltaics
  • Private homeowners
  • Adopters renewable energy
  • Educational background and profession
  • Environmental concern
  • Diffusion of innovations theory

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